On Thursday, Feb. 15, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to receive $265,306 from the State of North Carolina to promote COVID-19 vaccinations and give free vaccinations to anyone who wants them.

The program, called “Bridge Access Program For COVID-19 Vaccines,” is meant to provide the vaccines to anyone at least 19 years of age, regardless of that person’s insurance status or their ability to pay.

The program is also meant – through a multifaceted PR campaign – to encourage county residents to get the vaccine and promote its availability.

The state is doing the same thing for other counties in North Carolina with the size of the grants based on things like population and a formula that determines the “social vulnerability index” of each county.

The money will go towards the administrative fees for each COVID-19 vaccine given, and also be used to “launch an extensive advertising campaign encouraging residents to get vaccinated, emphasizing accessibility for those without a pay source.”

The grant money from the state is also meant to pay counties to create flyers and other materials that health department staff can hand out at various community events.

In addition, the funds may be used for hosting remote van-based COVID-19 clinics based on requests by communities or to buy necessary equipment, such as refrigeration units for vaccine storage and handling.

In Guilford County, about $90,000 will go toward “advertising to encourage the community to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” while $60,000 will be used to pay nurses to give the shots and keep the records.